Saturday 17 March 2018

Carroll takes big scalp on way to win

Cork sensation Killian Carroll. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Cork sensation Killian Carroll. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Paul Fitzpatrick

Cork sensation Killian Carroll picked up the biggest win of his career at the WPH Players Championship in Portland, Oregon, yesterday - and the win was ever sweeter as he saw off five-time world champion Paul Brady en route to the title.

Carroll was in magnificent form as he beat Arizona's Sean Lenning in the final, broadcast live on ESPN. The former world U19 champion served eight aces in the first game of the final on the way to a comfortable 15-6 win and, although he dropped the second 15-10, he closed out the 55-minute tiebreaker 15-11 for the biggest win of his career.

"This is my biggest accomplishment, I know I got to a world final but this is bigger - it feels pretty good," he said.

"I tried to close it out in the second but, subconsciously, I was probably playing a bit safe. Words can't really describe it."

Arguably more important than the title, though, was the fact that Carroll (22) toppled Brady - who he lost to in the 2015 World Championships final - in the semi-final. That win marked the first time he has ever beaten him.

The pair will almost certainly clash again at the US Nationals in Minnesota next month in one of the most eagerly-awaited handball matches in memory.

Irish Independent

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